Humans and birds share something in common that doesn't exist
in the rest of the animal kingdom. The appreciation for music and the
urge to dance to it. Something about the order of the rhythm and the
journey of the melody trigger real emotions in us. They don't just
trigger emotions though. Just like aromas they can also trigger
memories that the brain has attached to certain songs, bands, or
genres. This makes music a unique tool for treating memory and
behavioral issues like Dementia and Alzheimer's Syndrome.
Patients in a memory care facilities often have erratic
behavior that puts added stress into their environment and can
interrupt the usefulness of medication and other treatments.
Alternatives like music, light, and aroma therapies can be used to
great effect to supplement patients treatment during these times of
sporadic behavior. Something to note, however, is that every person
associates memories and emotions to different music. This implies that
one person's 'good' song can be another person's 'bad' song. In turn
this suggests, when using music for therapy, headphones or a private
room help target the treatment to a singular patient.
Clinical studies have found several specific benefits from
music therapy. Both learning a new instrument and to a lesser degree
listening, bolsters memory recall and cognitive abilities. Other
studies show that music also improves the perception of their quality
of life. It's also been found to decrease the body's stress response,
anxiety, anger, and depression symptoms.
Learning and playing musical instruments have heightened
effects on supporting memory and emotional modification. Drumming has
been one of the best ways to vent anger and other negative emotions in
a healthy way and can reverse the hormonal stress response.
For more information visit these resources below.
WHY PLAY MUSIC-SENIORS
by Sharon Bryant
June 01, 2014
Music Therapy for the Alzheimer’s Disease Patient
by Amy Wong, MS
December 7, 2012